In recent years, the iPad has provided a new way to learn in the classroom by bringing education to life and changing the way learning takes place for students of all ages.
CASDA faculty member Tom McKee is currently helping introduce iPads into Capital Region schools by working with them to provide a basic understanding of how to effectively use the iPads and integrate them into the classroom. This ultimately means that iPads will be used more widely and creatively by teachers.
“One the biggest problems with using iPads in the classroom right now is that teachers are handed the iPads and left to figure them out on their own,” McKee said. “What we are doing here at CASDA is to go into schools and help teachers better understand the technology and how to utilize it to enhance the learning experience for students.”
The multimedia capabilities of the iPad are also helping students to improve their motivation, attention and ability to process information. They also provide students with new and creative ways to enhance such skills as reading and writing. The equipment can also be geared toward different levels of learning and diverse skill needs within the classroom.
“For young kids finding ways to tie play to learning can be an important part of their overall learning experience and using the iPad is just another way to extend that into the classroom.” McKee said.
Some of the activities McKee is currently using to enhance the learning experience of students include using games and apps found on the iPad to stimulate their thinking and problem solving skills. Students are also using iPads to teach each other through the use of videos or by creating multimedia lessons to teach and quiz one another.
“Ultimately, the iPad is just another tool in the teachers’ toolbox, and in order to educate students to the best of their ability, teachers need to have the capability to utilize all the tools that are at their disposal,” McKee said.
Aside from working in schools, starting this month McKee will be using distance learning technology to offer districts a number of different professional development workshops that will acquaint teachers with the iPad and give them specific activities to help struggling readers and writers. Each session costs $99 and can include as many faculty or staff members from each district as desired. To learn more about these DL workshops, please visit www.casdany.org.